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Diabetic Retinopathy

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in those with diabetes when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak, or close and stop blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes are serious sight-threatening complications.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, some have no symptoms at all. As it progresses, you may experience:

  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Vision loss

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

The easiest way to prevent diabetic retinopathy damage is to control your blood sugar. This keeps your eye’s blood vessels healthy and may sometimes even restore some of the vision lost due to diabetic retinopathy.

If treatment is needed for diabetic retinopathy, an injection which may slow and perhaps improve vision could be recommended. If the disease has progressed to an advanced stage, our surgeons may recommend one of several possible procedures, including laser surgery to treat abnormal or leaking blood vessels in the retina.